- Album Review: Race To Neptune – Oh Contraire
Oct 4, 2016
By: Noel Billups
Oh Contraire is the first full-length release from Fort Collins rock band, Race to Neptune. Formed in 2012, the band has been a staple of the Fort Collins rock scene and now, with the release of their new album, they have a solid body of work to show for. The band has an overarching sound of 90’s alternative but they pull from a multitude of different influences that span a 30 year range, from the 60’s to late 90’s. What’s impressive about this album is the band’s ability to go from “in your face” riffs, to soft ballads, to even country while still staying true to their sound.
A couple of tracks that stand out on the album are “Iron Satire”, “Constant Collapse”, and “The Bayou Brew”. “Iron Satire” is the ballad of the album that perfectly encapsulates nostalgia. The song really showcases guitarist and vocalist’s Brian Maier voice as well as his lyrics that nicely complement his songwriting. On the other end of the spectrum, “Constant Collapse” is the banger of the album. While channeling the likes of bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Tool, the bands delivers an electric performance as playing heavy is something that this band seems to do really well. The appropriately named track “The Bayou Brew” is the most upbeat song of the album and is sure to get even the most heavily intoxicated patrons at the bar on their feet. The band combines their rock sound with some electric, stomp your feet, backwoods country for a highly lively combination.
Oh Contraire is a solid, full-length release that features the band’s wide range of influences. If you’re a fan of 90’s alternative, you will certainly dig this album.
- Album Review: Race to Neptune’s “Oh Contraire”
June 23, 2016
Imagine: The alarm clock goes off. You and your closest friends begin to stir. There is a faint light coming in through the curtains; a welcome reminder that today, you and your friends are about to set out on the summer road trip you’ve been planning for months. The sun will be up in less than an hour, and a quick glance at the sky confirms it’s likely to be an extra beautiful day. Everyone is ready. The last of your supplies are moved into the already packed car with a fervent haste. You get in the driver’s seat as everyone is buckling up. Last minute checklist: Wallet? Phone? Keys? Check, check, and check. Clothes? Gear? Beer? Check, check, and check. Coffee? Double-check. And most importantly, an album to start the adventure off right?
Oh Contraire, is the 9-track debut LP from the Fort Collins-based rock band Race to Neptune. It is sonically pleasing, playful, and refreshing. It teems with lush guitar-wall effects, tasteful melodies, and head-bobbing beats. The Colorado four-piece, comprised of Brian Maier (vox/guitar), Vanessa Freese (drums), Ken Cavanaugh (bass, vox, guitar), and Zach Berger (guitar), have managed to squeeze as much luscious guitar tone as possible into some of these tracks. Nothing in the mix sounds too loud or too quiet. In fact, the whole album is evidence of some pretty nice production, which justifies a shout-out to the team at The Spot Studios, where it was recorded. The record is enjoyable to listen to, and has some genuine replayability. I caught myself grooving to RTN’s music each time I listened to it.
Most of the vocal melodies on the LP are fetching and evocative. The topics of the songs are fairly unrelated, but revolve around feelings of longing, fear, anger, and disgust; classic staples for this style of rock, which I would call shoegaze, dream-pop, indie/alt-rock. I tend to shy from labels; they usually say more about my experiences than what the band might actually sound like to you, but I gotta say something. In any case, I’m pretty sure that anyone with a solid appreciation of alternative rock music will enjoy Oh Contraire.
The opening track, “Wanderlilly”, is definitely my favorite track on the album. The succinct lyrics tell of a brief connection that is both sad and beautiful, and the song just rocks. Not far behind is the last track, “Waterspout”, which I love for its varied, yet balanced musicianship.
Despite my endorsement, I do have one critique. The eighth track, “The Bayou Brew”, is a southern rock track that is too far a stylistic departure from the alt-rock sound of the rest of the record. Still, overall Oh Contraire is a strong debut.
In its entirety, Oh Contraire is a good rock album worth your listen. So whether it be for your next road trip, or whatever adventure you embark upon this summer, choose Race to Neptune’s Oh Contraire to come along for the ride. Keep up with the band on their Facebook and Reverbnation pages. Like you, I hope to catch them live soon.
Recommended If You Like: The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana
- Race to Neptune – “Oh Contraire” Scene Magazine Album ReviewRace to Neptune is a band prone to versatility and impossible to nail down. Their latest release, Oh Contraire, underlines their extensive ambiguity, putting forth a sound that calls to mind everything from Pinback and Cage the Elephant to late ‘90s alternative and mid ‘60s psychedelia. It is an admirable characteristic of the modern artist to exude confidently such ambidexterity while holding concurrently the roots of an original and underlying sound, and this is captured greatly throughout Oh Contraire. We are hit progressively with the electric wanderlust of “Wanderlily,” the dreamy nostalgia of “Iron Satire,” and the rollicking stomp of “The Bayou Brew.” This is certainly a full and impressive work from the Fort Collins-based Race to Neptune.
Studio: Spot Studios
Mixing: Rich Veltrop and Glenn Sawyer
- Race to Neptune Website Launched
Welcome to our brand new website, we are Race to Neptune, a indie rock band that is based out of Fort Collins, CO.